The short-short version: I messed up when I scraped out the goopy old light seals and attempted to seal the back with gaffer’s tape, instead. I need to properly replace the seals.
The first images on this test roll are of an airplane wing. The last time I flew in an airplane was February 2013, so that’s how long this roll of film languished in the Ricoh 35FM.
I first tested this camera back in January 2011, and got some nice images from it. There was a very slight light leak, though, so when I loaded it back up for round two, I cleaned out the old disintegrating foam and applied gaffers tape to block the light.
The light leaks are much more pronounced on this second test roll.
Apparently, gaffer’s tape is not enough — I need to replace the seals. Also, I completely forgot that I had removed the gooey seals from all over the camera back, not just along the sides. I’ve found several tutorials online for replacing the seals and bought myself some adhesive-backed felt to replace the nasty stuff I half-assedly scraped off before. This should be the kind of project I can tackle after my son goes to bed — it’ll take me a couple sessions to get the gummy leftovers off the camera, then some more uninterrupted time to put the new felt on.
Honestly, the Ricoh 35FM isn’t my favorite camera, but I like it well enough. Once I get it in a non-leaky state and test it for a third time, maybe I’ll come to a conclusion about what role it plays in my collection of film cameras.